tv BBC World News BBC America February 2, 2015 9:00am-10:01am EST
>> announcer: this is bbc america and now live from london, "bbc world news." hello. i'm tim lukos with bbc world news. a bbc team enters the team of kobane. >> driving the local state from theory came at tremendous cost. hundreds of coalition air strikes, which have flattened most of the town. egypt frees a journalist. >> peter was arrested with otherses and they also deserve
to be free. peter won't rest until they're released from prison. the first large scale trials against ebola are getting underway in liberia. and the former head of the imf goes on trial, accused of helping to procure women for sex parties. hello. welcome to bbc news. the syrian city of kobane has been libertied after four months of intense street fighting and air strikes. kurdish fighters finally drove the jihadists out with the help of allied forces. since august the u.s.-led coalition has launched nearly 2,000 air strikes against i.s. targets, with most of the focus
being against kobane and east. but i.s. still controls swaths of lands in northern and western iraq. symptom estimate the extremist group has taken over almost 40,000 square kilometers. 8 million people are believed to be living under partial or full i.f. control. when the fighting in kobane took hold hundreds of thousands fled to neighboring turkey. a bbc team including our correspondents, have entered the ruin city and spoken to some of the residents who remain. this is their report. >> every street, every inch of kobane is testament to the apocalypse that the islamic state brought here. for four months they faced each other, sometimes just yards apart, and there are still plenty of dangers here. unexploded mortars, booby traps but i.s. is gone.
trophies from the fight. i.s. used car bombs, packed with explosives to target our checkpoints, these men say. they are reeling. their victory came unexpectedly. the outcome is a shot. the islamic state theory at least has been beaten. most of its people fled kobane. those who stay draped curtains across the roads, to hide out of sight from i.s. snipers. one of the families who refused to leave. hello! hello. akima and her 12 children and grandchild stayed throughout the worst of the fighting. >> we faced difficulties. we were hungry we were thirsty, but we are no different from the fighters. they stayed and we stayed.
we were in the basement. when they had food they shared it with us. it was hard. but thank god we knew we would win. win. >> few haven't seen the evil that took place here will see it now. kurdish officials didn't abandon us. we are going to school now and we are very happy, because we will be able to go back to our villages. they liberated our lands. >> reporter: in the ruins, i.s. fighters left behind messages. this one from a sniper makes a promise to the town of bloodshed, beheadings and destruction. kobani is now at streetpeace. the streets or what's left of them are silenced. hundreds of coalition air strikes have flattened most of the town. and while kobani has been
libertied, the fight against the militants goes upon. we headed east closer to the front lines. here the kurdish fighters are young, but determined. but still, surrounded by the islamic state. >> the town has been liberated. it's a big victory. but the bigger win will be to free all of the villages around kobani. we will now allow a single isis fighter to survive in kobani. in the war against the islamic state, the battle for kobani will be remembered. these streets tell that with foreign help i.s. can be defeated but only with great sacrifice. >> you can find out much more on the situation on kobani and background information on islamic state. go to the website, bbc.com/news.
some breaking news for you from cairo. an egyptian court has confirmed death sentences against 183 men convicted of killing 13 police officers in a town near cairo, 18 months ago. well the killings happened in car carvasa during the upheaval that follows the armies ousting of the islamic president, mohamed morsi. in december, the court delivered its preliminary verdict after a mass trial of the defendants. well after 400 days in prison in egypt, the australian journalist peter greste has been freed. he's now on his way home to australia to be reunited with his family. he was jailed along with two other journalists, mohammed fay
fahmy and bahher mohammed. >> i thought this day would never come. >> i knew it would come. well peter greste is a free man. he is currently with our brother, mike in sip rest where he's gathering his thoughts at the moment. he is safe healthy, and very very happy to be on his way home. i have spoken with him recently and we wanted -- and first, he wanted to thank all the people who have supported him. who have given time money, energy, in seeking his freedom. peter also wanted to mention the work that the australian government has done the foreign minister julie bishop the concierge and management group,
and adequacy adore ralph king who was not going to leave egypt until he was free. and i know ralph particularly went out of his way, he personalized this and just can't thank him enough for his support, and also to his wife for their fine hospitality and friendship that they've offered us while all the family. >> i've been speaking to a fellow al jazeera reporter if she's had a chance yet to speak to peter greste. >> i haven't spoken to him. he's talking to my colleagues now in cyprus but everyone's trying to be very protective of him at the moment. he's been in a bubble for over a year. he doesn't really know what's going on. he's heard snippets. he was desperate for gossip. but he has no idea the clamor and international attention his incarceration has provoked.
so tat the moment he's decompressing. he's speaking the to his family members. but we're giving him a little bit of breathing space before he comes out and talks to the rest of the world. >> things look promising for the egyptian mohamed fahmy, but not so much for baher. >> they're working very hard to get him out, but our hearts are sinking at the moment for baher. obviously, peter said good-bye to baher very quickly, he had just a half an hour to make those good-byes and pack his bits and pieces and leave. and baher is now left behind and i think he is probably very scared. as i'm hearing, his wife is too. and his wife was in tears when she heard that things were moving so quickly for the other
two. they're worried that the media attention is just going to dissipate with the two sort of big names, mohamed fahmy and peter greste they're known for their journalism around the world, that that spotlight will disappear. and we have to commit to getting baher out as well. at a moment it looks like we're we lying on the egyptian judicial system with the retrial coming up in coming weeks, to recognize that baher is innocent, there's no real evidence against him. if that doesn't happen we'll be calling for pardon for him. and indeed the rest of those. and our position hasn't really changed. the only thing we can hope for, unless we turn ourselves into the egyptian authorities, is a presidential pardon. some have been making that plea on my behalf and the other britain convicted. that's the only thing we're hoping for baher.
he's made a pledge. we're going to keep that media spotlight going on him. >> sue from al jazeera. in other news the president of south sudan, salva kiir signed an agreement to end more than a year of war. the deal hasn't been made public and they're still haggling. one negotiator said he expected hostilities to end on monday. the combined force of nigerian soldiers and vigilantes have beaten off a second attack in just over a week by boko haram. the army says they inflicted major casualties on the militants. large parts of the u.s. midwest has been hit by a major winter storm. more than a thousand flights were canceled at chicago's national airport after more than a foot of snow was dumped on the area. blizzard conditions remain. planes have been deiced is and the runways cleared with snowplows.
public schools have been canceled in chicago and parts of detroit and boston due to the hazardous conditions. right. alex just crept in. >> talking tech u.s. tech. >> are you? >> what about that snow? >> a little bit. >> do you do the weather? >> i might. >> he's across everything. he's such a smart boy. hello there. u.s. president barack obama's plan to close a tax loophole that allows u.s. firms to avoid paying taxes on overseas profits. all of this according to the white house. obama's 2016 budget will be approved today, and will propose a one-off 14% tax on foreign profits. currently, no tax on foreign profits as long as they're not brought into the u.s. obama now says the near $24
million raised will be spent on road and transport projects in the united states. but here's another thing. how about this one? the uk treasury has talked with the new greece finance minister in downing street. he's visiting european countries. he's on a charm offensive, really, to try to explain the plans of the syriza party, for writing off much of greece's debt. after talks yesterday, the greek finance minister said a new debt deal was needed within months. we'll keep across all of that. you know it's been nearly a year, what six days short since the disappearance of that malaysian 777 flight mh 370 disappeared. even in this age of technology that plane could not be traced. that event combined with the loss of a second commercial aircraft over the java sea is sparing calls for more tracking of commercial airline flights. the international civil aviation
organization's conference is about to get underway in montreal, and on the agenda, yes, aircraft tracking and how best to achieve it. we'll keep on top of that one as well, that meeting in montreal. tweet me you can get me me @bbcaaron. all the business news coming up on "gmt" in just over an hour's time. >> we'll see you then. >> you going to watch it are you? >> i will. still to come pro-russian rebels in eastern ukraine take aim at a strategic transport.
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his two colleagues have also been released. heavy fighting is continuing in eastern ukraine, between government forces and russian backed rebels. the kiev government has 8,000 soldiers in the town between the bastion of donetsk and lieu danks. >> it's difficult to say. weapon don't know how many if there are any on the ground this is what the ukrainian and western officials say. in addition to very heavy artillery. but we do know that russian forces have moved in previously. they've been captured. the russians admit as much saying they are, in fact soldiers on leave, but they are regular forces. and of course the fighters are
moving in from russia. the rebels have said that the fighters are in fact being a trained to a certain degree in russia. so what the exact situation is right now, it's difficult to say, but what we can say is that the separatists are very well armed, and they're also in large numbers. they're bringing in a great deal of pressure on ukrainian forces especially as you pointed out, in the town or around the town of deballsaba. >> where are we on the peace talks? >> the peace talks collapsed over the weekend and it's looking very negative at the moment. that's not to say that they will resume, but the osbe the organization for security and cooperation in europe says that the rebels were not interested in discovered a peace fire right now. the rebels have demanded that the ukraineians introduce a unilateral cease-fire. and the ukrainians threatened a
fullout war if they didn't do that. so giving a situation that's going on, as well as the situation on the ground, it doesn't look like there's going to be a cease-fire anytime soon. >> what about the population of the towns? are they largely pro-russian or pro-kiev? >> that's also difficult to say. i suppose they're not pro-anybody right now. most people when you speak to them just want the fighting to stop. that's not to say that there aren't pro-russian separatists among them. but at the moment the most pressing issue is the humanitarian situation for them. people are fleeing, and those who aren't are taking to the cellars for protection. shelling is pretty much incessant right now. they're without water, without heating, without electricity. so the fear for people in town as well as other places it
appears it is very great they'll continue to suffer and the humanitarian situation will only grow worse. >> david stern reporting from kiev. the first large scale trials against the ebola virus are taken in liberia. the vaccines are being stored in a secret location. eventually, some 30,000 volunteers will take part in the trials. over the past year nearly 9,000 people have died of ebola and the number of reported cases reported has fallen recently. mark doyle wept tont to look around a site there. >> when first started burning materials yesterday on site and are continuing today, we had a survivor who started the fire and as he started the fire and put the torch in i heard him say, ebola, bye-bye. and that somehow, it seemed
hopeful, but yet not shouting it from the rooftops was my personal feeling. it's a sort of low-key affair. we don't want to jump for joy, but we do want to mark the start of decommissioning of our -- it's not closing, it's only a small part. it's the first part that was here, but it is a step in the right direction. but i also think we should do it in a sensitive way. the community, for them the fire was a difficult subject for many liberians. we have to be aware of that and inform them in advance, get their views, and proceed carefully. >> so what's happening here? >> this is mss staff from the water and sanitation team who are on hand for the exit of
their colleagues from the high-risk area. so the colleagues in yellow are wearing personal protective equipment or ppe, for their own safety and this is an exit point, where they're taking off their ppe and in controlled circumstances, following safety procedures for ebola, and they're watched by a colleague, who's disinfecting material when required spraying and making sure their colleagues follow the steps at described in the protocol. but we need to keep our staff safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. they are entering the high-risk area, three, four times during a shift, and exiting. they need a lot of equipment, they need to be protected, they need to feel safe so that's the least we can do. it is not the end of the epidemic at the current time. the world health organization
says there has to be 42 days clear after the last confirmed case. so we're clearly not at that stage with five confirmed cases throughout liberia. yet, good news with such a relatively small number. but still work to be done. and we have to remain alert and vigilant 24 hours a day, with 7 days a week for the coming weeks and months. >> the fight against ebola in monrovia. the former head of the imf, the international monetary fund dominique strauss-kahn goes on trial today, accused of helping to procure sex workers for private parties. the prosecution alleges that mr. strauss-kahn was at the heart of a prosecution wheel. strauss-kahn denies the charges. when i spoke to him a little earlier, i thought, this was a man who almost could have become president. >> something of an image change from where he hoped he might have been at this stage in his
career, but dominique strauss-kahn will appear in court today with 13 other defendants, among them a man known as do-do the pimp who runs a chain of brothels. it's people like that he'll have to share the stage with as he fights these charges. >> it's the latest isn't it in a series of legal challenges. where did he stand on all the others? >> that's right. he's had a lot of charges made against him. they have all been dropped or dismissed for various reasons. there was the attempted rape he was charged in new york. that was dismissed. that was another attempted sexual abuse charge that also had reached the limit of statute of limitations has expired. he has faced a series of challenges. this is the latest in those. and he has denied the carjackharges that he helped to organize
these, various other high-profile members. and he said that he did go to the parties, but he had no organization or role in them and didn't know the background of the women involved. >> and culturally, how is france reacting to this? because prostitution isn't illegal, is it? >> it's quite a complex situation, but, no, prostitution itself is not illegal in france. and what's been notable about this trial, is there's quite a split in views about where the country perhaps stands on these kind of private affairs. france has been known for a long time to be fairly tolerant of the private lives of its public figures. it's supposed to draw a line between the public and the private fears. but this case certainly, a lot of the french media has said it's perhaps more of a litmus test in whether france still believes in those values. there's a poll that was published in the last few days, looking attitudes towards dominique strauss-kahn and why a majority of french people
responding to that poll said they disapproved him or a bad opinion of him, almost 80% said he would have made a better president than the current one. >> lucy williamson in paris. you can stay in touch with me at my twitter, @bbc timwilcox. mmm, a perfect 177-degrees. and that's why this road warrior rents from national. i can bypass the counter and go straight to my car. and i don't have to talk to any humans, unless i want to. and i don't. and national lets me choose any car in the aisle. control. it's so, what's the word?... sexy. go national. go like a pro. you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends. three jobs. you're like "nothing can replace brad!" then liberty mutual calls. and you
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i'm tim willcox with "bbc world news." our top stories. a bbc team enters the town of kobani, until recently a strong hold of islamic state. >> driving the islamic state from here came at tremendous cost. hundreds of coalition air strikes, which have flattened most of the town. egypt frees the journalist peter greste from prison. his family say he's determined to fight for two colleagues who are still in jail. >> peter was arrested with baher
and mowhamed and they also deserve to be free. a korea air faces her victim in court. and it's not easy to being in charge down under. what tony abbott say to critics who attack his style of leadership. . hello, welcome to the program. we begin in kobani where kurdish fighters have retaken the syria city from militants. with the help of allied air strikes, they drove the extremist group out after four months of intense fighting. since august, allyied forces have had launched nearly 2,000 air strikes against i.s. kobani
and east to the mosul dam area in iraq being the main targets. but i.s. still controls swaths of land in northern syria. some estimate the extremist group controls 40,000 square kilometers. 8 million people are believed to be living under partial and full i.s. control. when the fighting began, hundreds of thousands fled to neighboring turkey. we entered the rebel city and talk to some of the residents who stayed. >> reporter: we've watched them for a long time and isis. we picked up inside the town and driven through the streets, but it's tough going.
many of the roads are blocked with burnt out cars and there are deep craters and trenches. destruction is everywhere. we're now in eastern kobani and just look at the devastation, it's almost complete. every building every house, every street. this is where the islamic state were embedded. some of the toughest fighting here and some of the heaviest air strikes. so something like 600 air strikes -- we'll take a spin to show you the result of those air strikes. and the intensity of the air strikes against the islamic state we haven't seen anywhere else. look at this street. every single building every single vehicle, suffered as a result of this but it was enough to drive the islamic state and fighters out of this part of kobani and kobani entirely. if you look down there, that was the front line about two weeks ago, but the intensity of the air strikes managed to push them out. if we spin around here you get a sense of the closeness of some
of the fighting. right down at the bottom of that street, you can see blankets. they were put up by the locals to defend themselves against islamic state snipers, who were a daily threat here, they were in every building. they're not a threat now. it's perfectly safe right in the center of kobani. in the rubble partially buried are the bodies of i.s. fighters far too graphic to show but east of the town has mostly been destroyed. but in the west things are better. here it's a different scene, entirely. there are signs of life signs of victory, signs of people returning. we haven't seen that devastation, what we saw in the west. people believe that islam arethey're gone and gone for good. if you go four miles that way, the front lines are still active. kobani may have been liberated, but the islamic state haven't
been defeated. >> qinton summerville in the syrian tow of kobani. peter greste has been freed. he's on his way home to australia to be reunited with his family. he was jailed along with two other journalists from the al jazeera network, baher mohamed and mohamed fahmy. they are still in jail. all denied charges against them and say their trial was a sham. peter's family gave this reaction to his release. >> i day that i thought would never come. >> i knew it would come. i didn't know when. well, peter greste is a free man. he is currently with our brother, mike in cyprus where he's gathering his thoughts at the moment. he is safe healthy, and very very happy to be on his way home. i have spoken with him recently
and we wanted and peter personally wanted to thank you all the people who have supported him, who have given time, money, energy in seeking his freedom. peter also wanted to mention the work that the australian government has done. foreign minister julie bishop the consular and crisis management group, and ambassador ralph king who was not going to leave egypt until he was free. and i know ralph particularly went out of his way to personalize this and i can't thank enough for his support and his wife for their kind hospitality and friendship they've offered us while all the family in cairo. >> peter greste's brothers there. angie ghanem is in cairo. she talked about the chance that peter greste's colleagues being released now as well.
>> the prospects for the egyptian mohamed fahmy, is looking good so far. there are some reports that are talking about him being also deported after splitting him from his egyptian nationality, so he would become a canadian national and he could be deported from the country. however the image is not really clear about the third egyptian who is in jail as well baher mohamed. no one is talking about him. there is no talks for him to be freed soon. however, his case is now the talk of the social media in egypt. people are expressing anger, only because he wasn't have a foreign passport he will remain in jail and no one is speaking about any solution to his problems. >> and what is social media saying about this whole case? >> well the social media is
very relieved and happy. most are thinking about this case damaging egypt's reputation, and they're expecting -- they're happy about the release of people of course, but they're expressing concern about the other two in jail and also about other journalists who are egyptians that might be behind bars. of course this case has taken a while international coverage. the other journalists are not getting the same. so social media is talking about very good for peter, we're happy for him, let's talk about the others behind bars. >> well still in egypt, and a court has confirmed death sentences against 183 men convicted of killing 13 police officers in a town near cairo 18 months ago. the killings happened in carvasa, a town known for his sympathies during the upheaval that followed the country's ousting of the infamous
president, mohamed morsi. well a court has heard that a former executive at korean air threw like a wild beast over a tantrum over the way her macadamia nuts were served during a flight. he was f she ordered the plane back to the gate when her nuts were served in a bag, not a bowl. >> her defense is she was taking her job far too seriously. she is the daughter of the boss the chairman chief executive of korean air, but she also had her own job. and that was an executive in charge of cabin service. and she's saying in court that she took that job far, far too seriously, and that's why she reacted as she did. >> now, the victim i suppose we can call him, of her rage has also been in court, and he has
retaliated with a vengeance, really. the man she put off the plane, the plane moved 20 seconds, 20 meters pretty well from the gate before she got the thing put back and him put off. he says she was like a wild animal. she was raging. her teeth were bared, and she was very very angry, indeed. so he's gone back to work and he's taken time off very quickly after his return to work to say it was a pretty bad incident. shebanged him on the hands with her tablet notebook that kind of thing. so he's poured no punches in the courtroom here in korea. >> i think she's apologized hasn't she? but if she's found guilty of the charges, what possible potential sentence does she face?
>> she's apologized and apologized and then apologized again. and the apology doesn't really do it justice. she's not in prison she's in green overalls while this trial happens. she's walked up and down in front of the cameras with her head bowed, with her hair over her face saying how sorry she is. if she's found guilty theoretically, she could face ten years in jail. and that's because she's charged with diverting, stopping a flight, with no good reason. and that's law designed for those people who go berserk on flights when they're in flight and also for hijackers. so in theory she could get banged up for a long long time. now, the probability, according to most observers, is a much shorter sentence and maybe even the judge saying you've already suffered pretty well, you've been penalized by becoming the laughstock laughingstock of the nation jondand
beyond the nation. so maybe he'll say, you serve a month in jail but you've already served most of that so off you go and think about it. in other news the former head of the imf, dominique strauss-kahn is due in a french court where his trial is about to start. he's accused of helping to procure sex workers for private parties. the prosecution alleges mr. strauss-kahn was at the heart of a prosecution ring. mr. strauss-kahn denies those charges. the president of south sudan and the rebel leader have signed an agreement to end more than a year of war. the deal hasn't been made public, and they are still haggling over power sharing in a new government. one negotiator in ethiopia said he expected hostilities to end on monday. a combined force of nigerian soldiers and vigilantes have beaten off the second attack in just over a week on boko haram
militant in the northeast. the army says they caused them major casualties. large parts of the u.s. midwest have been hit by a major winter storm. more than a thousand flights were canceled at chicago's national airport after more than a foot of snow was dumped on the area. blizzard conditions remain with planes being deiced and the runways being cleared with snowplows. public schools have also been canceled in chicago and parts of detroit and boston due to the conditions. stay with us here on "bbc world news." still to come the modern technology unlocking ancient secrets. the scientific breakthrough which can reveal what's written on 2,000-year-old burnt scrolls. really... i guess i did take some risks. anncr: bode, bode miller!!! trained a little bit differently. a little too honest sometimes. the media is useless. you were out of control. but not always.
she's embarrassed by the way she looks. if you had chickenpox, the shingles virus is already inside you. 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime. as you get older, your immune system weakens and it loses its ability to keep the shingles virus in check. well i had to go to the eye doctor last week and i have to go back today. the doctor's worried its so close to her eye. the shingles rash can last up to 30 days. it hurts. it's hard. don't wait until you or someone you love develops shingles. talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your risk. you're watching with "bbc world news." i'm tim willcox. our latest headlines. a bbc team has documented the
high cost of driving islamic militants out of the syrian city of kobani. and the family of the al jazeera journalist peter greste, who has been freed from an egyptian jail say he won't rest until his two colleagues have also been released. a second military health care workers has been flown back to the uk after possible exposure to the ebola virus. in the west african country of liberia, the first large-scale trials of vaccines against the virus are beginning. the vaccines were taken into the country under strict security and are being stored in a secret location. hope that eventually some 30,000 volunteers will take part in the trial. over the past year nearly 9,000 people have died of ebola, although the number of cases reported has fallen recently. bbc's international development correspondent, mark doyle, has been speaking to the senior liberian scientist involved, steven kennedy, and began by asking him about the
science behind the vaccine. >> that portion was replaced from the ebola virus and replaced with ebola aeptntiviral. >> so this shaded part is a tiny bit of ebola. >> that is correct. but we have to be very clear, in order for one to be infected by ebola, it has to be the entire ebola virus, that infects a person. but what is happening is that a little piece of this virus that has been inserted here it is inactive and it cannot cause an infection. >> now the question i have is if the epidemic is going down and then you don't have people with ebola, how can you prove that your vaccine works? >> that's an important question that we have to address.
and there are several things to consider. one is the usefulness of a vaccine across three different cities. one of those cities is where there's a full-blown epidemic the next city is where there's a partially controlled epidemic and the last is where there's a completely controlled epidemic. but we try to establish that no matter which city you find yourself of the three, there is a potential for the implementation of a clinical trial. but if it is at the city where there's complete control of the epidemic, there's two things that can happen. one is that the sample size could potentially increase. two, there's possibility that there would be sporadic outbreaks, because liberia shares a border with sierra leone and guinea. so add all these factors into the picture creates a situation where there's a likelihood that
we may be able to reach a clinical point. the security situation in the capital of yemen remains fragile after rebels took fractions three days to agree to a way out of the crisis. they also want their militias to become part of the country's army and police as a precondition to any kind of deal. otherwise, they say they will take over themselves. the crisis has led to the resignation of the nation's president, who is also under house arrest. for more on the situation, let's speak to bbc arabic who joins us live from sunol. what is the latest there? >> reporter: yes. the hope is yesterday evening, gives political sakses three days to come out with a solution. otherwise, they say they will take things into their own hands. but they deny clarify what they exactly mean by that.
actually, this came at the end of the a three-day meeting. on the other hand, we have more comprehensive, formal talks spearheaded by the u.n. war region, and it encompasses this same political faction. i've spoken to some force of theirs attending the meeting, i asked them what do you think of the meeting, what do you think of the decision? they came upstairs is and they said, we do not recognize that. the formal meetings are the ones supported by the international community. they said that they're trying to pressure the different political factions taking place in the talks. but up for no things are calm. we're expecting a rally just in an hour or so. they do control the key
government building wgss, presidential palace, they have the upper hand on the street. and up until now, no political talks came up with any concrete ruts so far. but what we understand is that the most likely scenario to happen from sources inside the talks, spearheaded by jamal is for a presidential council to be formed, and it should be preventative of the different political factions here in the country. >> sally nabil with the late etc.est est. thank you so much. australian prime minister tony abbott is working to save his leadership just 15 months after sweeping to power. he's the focus of growing criticism with voters frustrated by broken electoral promises and a series of gaps including last week's decision to lie the australia day honors to britain's. >> reporter: australia's prime minister tony abbott has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. his most recent gaffe was on
australia day, when he awarded britain's prince philip the country's highest honor, a nighthood. it sparked an online firestorm, with many taking to twitter to mock the prime minister. it was this that's being blamed for a surprise loss in state elections over the weekend. now mr. abbott is facing his biggest leadership challenge yet. >> the big problem for tony abbott is he comes off of the queensland election on saturday where we saw the most astounding reverse in australian political history. the latter part went from holding at nine seats to now looking like it will form a government, perhaps in its own right. so what's gone wrong? from the moment of his swearing it, he's seen facing criticism for only having one woman in his cabinet, when he appointed himself for the ministers of women. he's well known for his famous
budgie smugglers as he is for the occasional slip of the tongue. >> however experienced is the suppository to have all wisdom. >> perhaps one of his most talked about moments is during this radio interview. >> i just ran $400 and i work to make ends meet. >> this wink. but many australians see these gaffes as trivial, compared to his broken election promises on health and a widely unpopular budget. >> as you'd expect -- >> reporter: in a speech on monday, he tried to save his place as australia's leader by dropping his signature plan. he also promised a more conservative approach on economic and security problems. despite these latest attempts to save his job, the opinion polls
are heading in one direction, down. and many are asking is this the beginning of the end for tony abbott? laura westbrook, bbc news. a scientific breakthrough could make it possible to read papers from the only library known to have survived from ancient rome. the library was in herculean, which was destroyed. now scientists have found way to peer inside the charred scrolled and see letters and words for the fistrst time in 2,000 years. >> reporter: it may look like a charred stump, but, in fact it's a book. a papyrus scroll. unravel them and they fall apart, leaving just fragments. but now, there's been a breakthrough.
it happened here where they generate ultraintense beams of photons, the stuff that makes up light. >> it's more of the same. >> reporter: watching how the beams behaved after passing through the papyrus, they were able to detect traces of ink. >> a small difference in the carbon, which means we have small differences between that. and through the phenomenon called refraction we can see the very tiny differences in the position of the line. and that makes the difference. >> reporter: putting all the cross sections through a computer, they analyzed all the many layers inside the rolled up scroll and what they found at the end was uncontrovertible. this is ultramodern sign comes
to the aid of literature in the most scientific way. this is the inside of one of those burnt out scrolls and here for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, we can read the letters. >> for payrologists, it's groundbreaking. it means the herculean scrolls could now begin to give up their secrets. it's been opened that's what's important. for me and my colleagues joy is tremendous that's why i can't really express it it's too big. there are some things you just can't put into words. but, of course, we also need to keep our feet on the ground if we're to do more good work. there are years of work ahead, but there's now every reason to hope we shall be able to read once again these books of ancient rome. >> fascinating discovery.
a reminder of our main story this hour. a bbc team which has gained access to the syrian town of kobani shows much of the city has been flattened by months of fighting. reporters of i.s. fighters lying in the rubble. that's it for now. see you soon. you park your car. as you walk away crunch! a garbage truck backs into it. so,you call your insurance company, looking for a little support. what you get is a game of a thousand questions. was it raining? were your flashers on? was there a dog with you? by the
hello. you're watching "gmt" on bbc "world news." i'm lucy hockings. our top stories. we report from inside kobani. kurdish forces have won it back from islamic state militants, but these ruins are what is left of the city. >> driving the islamic state from here came at tremendous cost. hundreds of coalition air strikes, which have flattened most of the town. after 400 days in a cairo prison, peter greste's body say he won't rest until his two egyptian colleagues are freed as well.